IVF can be scary and overwhelming at the start- it’s all new and crazy and impossible. But it’s also an exciting time, filled with moments of wonder: THIS could be the injection that makes the egg that makes the baby, THIS could be the egg that meets with Mr. T’s sperm, THIS could be the embryo that becomes my baby.
The second time through IVF, it’s nerve-wracking, but no longer as scary. At this point, you’re a veteran who knows the ropes but still has a good sense of optimism. THIS time it will work, right?
And the third time- well- I’m still thinking how I feel about this one. I’m still shocked that I’m here.
I know I’m lucky to have the chance to try again. I got amazingly good news from my FSH test last week- thanks to my regimen of wheatgrass, C0Q10, DHEA, Folgard, Yoga, acupuncture and who knows what else- my FSH is now below 10, which means that my “Shared Risk” program won’t drop me after all. So the cost of another cycle is covered- other than the drugs- and I’m so grateful for that.
But if I let myself think about it, I’m not sure I’m ready to face the emotional rigors of IVF-and the possibility of a third loss. I’ve been feeling so good. I’ve had a chance reacquaint myself with “All Natural Jess”, and remembered how nice and happy she is.
It’s not so much the effect of the hormones that gets to me- although I’m sure they don’t help. It’s the fact that my moods are tied to the numbers of follicles we see at each appointment, always measuring myself by the numbers I get back each afternoon from blood work, scheduling my life around the twice daily injections, the uncertainty of if and when we’ll have retrieval and transfer. And the raging battle with hope that goes up and down each day, throughout everything I do, following me even in my dreams.
But I took the first pink pill last week- which means I’m in the “suppression” stage, according to my IVF protocol, which seems appropriate from an emotional state as well. I’m on my way to starting the “stim” drugs next week, still in disbelief that I’m about to start this all again. I look around at my life that I’ve rebuilt since IVF 1 and 2, after those two losses, and try to hold onto the fact that no matter what happens, I can step back through the looking glass, and still find myself, the “real Jess.”
As Alice says after falling down the Rabbit Hole: “Well, after this I should think nothing of falling down stairs.”
And I know that one day, one way or another, I’ll read Alice in Wonderland to my children, and the wise words of the Queen:
Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
So that’s what I’ll do. I’ll walk back through the looking glass and believe in all the impossible, wonderful things to come.